What would Frank Underwood have done if faced with a leak like the one Netflix had to handle this past week? House of Cards creator Beau Willimon has an idea.
“I sent out a tweet: ‘Well folks, when Frank Underwood wants to tease he doesn’t f— around.’ I think he would have taken all the credit,” Willimon told EW on the red carpet for the Writers Guild Awards‘ New York ceremony Saturday. “If you take credit for chaos, it suddenly becomes order. And that’s what he would have said, but in a Southern accent.”
On Wednesday, the third season of House of Cards was briefly posted to Netflix—about two weeks ahead of its scheduled premiere Feb. 27. But Willimon wasn’t angry about what Netflix called a “technical glitch.” In fact, as he told EW, “I actually thought it was great. I was amused by the whole thing.”
Though Willimon explained that his work to keep details of the season hush-hush had been rendered somewhat moot, the leak did prove that the show’s audience is clamoring for its return. “I think that the more important thing was how much anticipation and excitement there was about the official release a couple weeks from now. And, yeah, while a few potential secrets might have been let loose, for the most part I think the core of the story and all the things that are going to happen stayed intact,” he said.
Despite screenshots of episodes and episode descriptions getting out, Willimon is taking things in stride: “What are you going to do? You can’t take it back, so you might as well just celebrate it.”
But what does Willimon think about the theory that Netflix took a cue from Beyoncé, releasing the show early as a purposeful surprise for fans? “It would have made us look really cool and Underwoodian if we had orchestrated the whole thing,” he said. “And who knows? Maybe we did, and we’re pretending we didn’t. But the truth, if you choose to believe it—look, streaming television shows on the internet is a new thing, and every season we’re figuring it out as we go. And this was one of the unexpected things that happens when you’re doing something different.”